Federal Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Hunter Tootoo, on Tuesday announced a call for proposals for the $5.7 million funding program to help Indigenous communities market and sell sealskin products on the world stage.
The Certification and Market Access Program for Seals (CMAPS) is a five-year program that sets up certification and tracking systems to ensure seal products harvested by Indigenous communities are certified to be sold in the European Union (EU). It also supports Indigenous seal product businesses and access to new markets for the commercial seal industry.
Minister Tootoo said: “Many Inuit communities rely on income generated from the sale of sealskin products to foreign markets. Our government is committed to supporting their efforts and helping Inuit communities to grow this important industry, which creates jobs and supports Inuit culture. The Certification and Market Access Program for Seals will open doors for Indigenous seal harvesters. I am proud to ensure Canada’s support for Northern economic development and the Canadian seal harvest.”
The European Union (EU) ban on seal products included an exemption for seal products harvested by Indigenous people. Currently, the Nunavut Department of Environment is the only recognized body in Canada designated to certify that seals harvested in Nunavut meet the requirement of the EU Regulation under the Indigenous exemption.
Information on how to apply for CMAPS is available on the Department’s website. – CINEWS